Posted by Tom Cole on March 25, 1999 at 22:21:00:
In Reply to: Importance as reason for collecting posted by Yon Bard on March 25, 1999 at 15:03:29:
: I have just attended a talk given by a noted ceramics collector. Her advice was that you should pick a focus, or theme, for your collecting, and then buy pieces only if they are 'important', in the sense that they make a significant historic or esthetic point within your focus area. As examples she gave dated pieces, or pieces related to archeological material, or similar pieces from different sources, showing the influence of one genre on another. After acquiring a piece, you should research it fully and publish an article about it. While collectors of tribal rugs may find it difficult to follow this advice because nothing is documented, yet if followed it can produce collections of much greater value - both monetary and scholarly - then just buying things just because we like them.
: Regards, Yon
Yon, You mention an interesting word that is actually seldom used in the vocabulary of the tribal rug marketplace, the word IMPORTANT. It is not like saying a rug is beautiful, or collectible. If something is “important”, it stands above everything else, with the cachet of a scholarly examination and the perspective of art history, and posterity etc. Guaging importance is beyond subjective definitions and therefore is really used so seldom as to be essentially irrelevant in the tribal rug marketplace of today.
What oriental rugs are important? Actually we might find a surprising consensus of opinion if a serious poll were conducted by serious people. The last rug in the marketplace to which I heard the word “important” attached was the silk rug in Philadelphia reputedly owned by Timur himself. How many other dealers could term their rugs “important” when we put the word in a proper perspective. On the other hand, if a rug is rumored to be “best of type”, then we have another story. But still, when you think about, how many dealers call their rugs that? Not many. In reality, only the very rich can boast of owning an important rug (ie. Kirschheim, Hecksher, etc.) but “best of types” lurk about, some recognized (published and widely acclaimed) and others not. Great examples of certain types are found and called just that much more often than “important” or “best of type”.
Post a Followup